a city skyline with many buildings reflecting on water

What is happiness? Ask your neighbors and you may hear everything from a BWM M5 to the purest form of all: love. But happiness is quantifiable. In fact, the United Nations uses happiness to define social progress in the world. The World Happiness Report measures country happiness by generosity, real GDP, average life expectancy of it’s citizens, perceived freedoms, lack of corruption, work life balance and other factors. Are you in one of the happiest countries?

a city with many buildings and boats on the water

10. Sweden

Sweden is a magical place to visit, with high minimum wage, excellent government services and active lifestyle contributing to this top 10 spot. It’s tied with Australia for 9th, in fact.

a bridge with lights shining through it9. Australia

Much like Sweden, Australia features a high minimum wage, leading to solid quality of life. The country is as blessed as they come, with bountiful ocean and beautiful landscapes.

a landscape of a valley with mountains and a city8. New Zealand

It’s nice to know it’s not just as dreamy as it looks. New Zealand has a very stable government, high quality of life and is it’s citizens are renowned for generosity. Yet another reason to go.

a city with a lake and mountains in the background7. Canada

Oh Canada, what a place. Canada is seen as one of the most diplomatic and stable countries in the world, with high life expectancy amongst many contributing factors.

a canal with many white swans and cars in the middle6. Netherlands

In a single modern word, the Netherlands is a “chill” place. Active lifestyle and abundant culture create a buzzing, modern society. High paid jobs contribute to the mix, making it a top choice.

a city with a church and buildings5. Finland

The land with over 1,000,000 saunas is apparently blissful place to live too. Finland is amongst the most socially progressive countries, benefiting from rich natural resources.

a bridge over a river with buildings and a bridge4. Switzerland

From gorgeous mountains to a powerful GDP, Switzerland has a lot going for it. The country boasts strong government trust, long life expectancies and high average income.

a waterfall in a green valley3. Iceland

Perhaps it’s the bountiful nature, strong currency or just the delightful warm lagoons. Iceland is one of the happiest countries in the world, and not surprisingly -one of the most expensive too.

a water way with boats and buildings in the background2. Denmark

The Danish have the most living space per capita, and are at the forefront of design. The country’s emphasis on family and togetherness has contributed to a rise in happiness.

a city skyline with many buildings reflecting in water1. Norway

By now, you’ve figured out it’s good to live in a country perched high in the Northern Hemisphere, or low in the Southern. Norway was the happiest country in the world in 2017.

Which country will you visit this year?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Definitely true. Norwegians are jolly people ans so are the Icelanders! Surprising that Sweden made to the list:the Swedes are the most depressed people I have ever met. Living there for a year it was horrible…

    1. Finns are much more depressed in my experience 😁 Danes are jolly but drinking a lot. Icelanders… what to say.
      Overall, I’ve met some of the most peaceful, happy people ever in India and African countries… wealthiness does not always mean happiness. I mean I dont think i’ve ever met such an attitude to life in Finland, as in some african countries.

  2. Wha a racist article. Did Trump write this. Australia want even allow refugees to stay in their country. Thankfully Obama agreed to take a boatload of unvetted refugees to be allowed into the United States. Are all the blogger on this boarding area racists. They are alway promoting these great countries but never visit Haiti, Niger and the other s***oles.

  3. It’s amazing how Switzerland came in 4th! The postcard picture scenery is absolutely gorgeous, but I seems like most of them have horrible attitudes, excluding the Swiss-Italian part or canton Lugano/Ticino located in the south) of the country. It’s funny how attitudes and personalities change when you go from one area of the country to another. It rains almost all year long in the German part, but when you get past that 11 mile tunnel called the St. Gotthard Pass into the south, the weather is Mediterranean-like where miniature pal trees grow and the sun shines more often. When I lived there several years ago (during the time the Berlin Wall finally came crashing down) Zurich’s weather beat London’s record for fog and rain. It was an unusually cold, foggy, and rainy year. Also, the shopping is horrible because everything closes at 6:pm M-TH, 7:00pm Fridays, 4:00pm Saturday’s, and everything is closed on Sundays. They also close the shops, banks, and post office for 2-3 hours during the week. Even though I’ originally from Germany, I found most of the Swiss were downright rude and very close-minded.

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